One of my favorite meals that my Grandma made was her beans and cornbread and fried potatoes. This was also my dad and brother's favorite too. We would always have "milk and bread" with the leftover cornbread. We would take a class of milk and break up cornbread and put it in the milk and eat it. Well, I did when I was younger but I haven't done it for a while. I am so thankful that I wrote down Grandma's recipes several years ago before she passed away. Although, she never really had recipes per say. I just had to do my best with guesses because she would always say, "Well, I just poured this in and stirred it until it was thick enough." Fortunately, I had watched her in the kitchen for almost 30 years so I knew exactly what it was suppose to look like.
For the beans:
Grandma always bought a jar of Randall's Beans. And I just found they have a coupon.
You just pour in the beans in a big pot, add some bacon grease (2-3 T.) and salt and cook for 30 minutes to an hour or more if you want. I use my Crock pot and cook on low all day. You could add ham or a ham bone if you want to but these beans have pretty good flavor with just the bacon grease.
For the cornbread:
My grandma always had self rising cornmeal on hand. Her recipe is very similar to the recipe on the bag of the cornmeal so that is the one I'm sharing since my Grandma's recipe doesn't really have measurements.
3 T. bacon grease or oil or shortening
2 cups of Self-Rising White Corn Meal mix
1-2 T. sugar (optional)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat bacon grease in cast iron skillet in the oven until melted (about 3-4 minutes). Tilt skillet to coat bottom evenly. Combine dry ingredients. Add milk and egg; mix until blended. Pour into hot skillet and bake 20-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 9-10 servings.
Now this is not sweet cornbread. This is good, old fashioned southern cornbread. And I have never NOT cooked this in a cast iron skillet. I guess you could but it just wouldn't be the same. It is also good just out of the oven smothered in butter, but we like to crumble our cornbread into our beans until there is no juice left. My husband also cuts up pickles and puts them in his beans and cornbread. Whatever you do, you just have to try it.
For more recipes check out Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.